Series Issues: Penny Dreadful unleashes No Beast So Fierce

This has to be the worst kidnapping attempt in history. Oh yeah, bloody spoilers are about.

(Source: Showtime)

(Source: Showtime)

Catriona Hartdegen (Perdita Weeks) is my new favorite character of this season. A fencing expert and a thanatologist that seems more at home with pants than long dresses, she’s the best new ally that Vanessa Ives can hope for, and personally recommended by Ferdinand Lyle. Incidentally, Mr. Lyle is off to Cairo. Probably some foreboding for next season’s setting as he seems he’ll be there a while. With so many characters lost this episode, I hope we’ll see him again. Catriona is definitely here to stay, and might be as close to a kindred spirit as Vanessa will ever meet.

(Source: Showtime)

(Source: Showtime)

With new ally Catriona and Dr. Seward as her mentor, it seems Vanessa is gaining strength for the oncoming storm that approaches. Unfortunately, as much as she wins an ally this week she also loses by showing her cards to Dr. Alexander Sweet who happens to be her proverbial nemesis. Yes, Vanessa and Dr. Sweet finally get intimate with their clothes on and that scene felt a lot more passionate that Lily with Dorian and Justine and a bucket of blood. It was passionate and seductive without showing more than cleavage. I love that this show doesn’t have to go full Game-of-Thrones in nudity on every episode. Does this mean that Vanessa has actually fallen for Dracula, or is there a separate Dr. Sweet personality? Are we having a Jekyll/Hyde situation? Please say we do.

(Source: Showtime)

(Source: Showtime)

Within the House of Gray, there’s fifty shades of trouble. Why oh why is that Dr. Frankenstein can master the unknown sciences of reanimation but not hatch half a decent plan? His pitiful attempt at kidnapping is actually strangely timed though. The movement is full steam ahead, but Dorian is starting to feel left behind specially since Justine seems to want Lily all to herself. It’s Victor’s capture (he literally -GAWD- walks into the place) that seems to frame things for Dorian as Justine just wants to kill him based on the fact he’s a man (and, I suspect, because he’s part of Lily’s past). Strangely enough, this is almost an intervention for Victor. However, it’s also timed with Dorian starting to have his first doubts on his position in the whole thing. Also, Lily showing compassion on her stalker was awkwardly endearing. No, I don’t think Victor deserved to walk away unharmed but the most intriguing thing was Dorian talking to him at the door. How will Dorian collect that debt?

(Source: Showtime)

(Source: Showtime)

The showdown happens in the last fifteen minutes back in New Mexico, where a tense dinner followed by an all-out-battle lead to tonight’s casualties. We lost the last remaining Marshall, Hecate in full Nightcomer guise and Inspector Rusk. Yes, we’ve lost Hecate. I guess it had to happen but I strongly believed she could’ve been around longer. Also, how come she’s vulnerable to a gunshot when she would’ve moved fast as lightning in the previous season? I guess without her Coven she’s not as powerful as before, but damn this show for letting me dream up that solution. I wanted a more in depth storyline of Hecate and Ethan.

(Source: Showtime)

(Source: Showtime)

Is Bartholomew Rusk really dead? Let’s just have them come back into the dining room for a second to find him missing from the scene, that’s all I ask. I expected him to remain on the show and follow Ethan Chandler aka Ethan Talbot around as he did last season. It cemented Ethan’s status as a fugitive and gave us all those snappy exchanges. Scotland Yard’s finest also survived having his hand blown off, he should’ve taken a bullet without breaking a sweat. Perhaps we’ve yet to see the last of him.

Highs/Lows/Grays:

  • Lily’s best speech to date: “Hear me, boy. Mend your broken heart elsewhere. Ease your conscience with another. I am done with you. Next time I see you, I’ll hold the razor myself.”
  • Victor is an obsessive stalker trying to “cure” Lily from her “illness”. Although Victor and Henry are talented in science, it was teenage lovesick mentality that sends Victor on his fool’s crusade. Actually, I blame it more on Jekyll. Lucy is Victor’s blindspot, but I guess Jekyll knows nothing about how strong Lily truly is or he’s just as immature as Victor. Both of them might be ahead of their time in their scientific skills but didn’t get past elementary on how to treat women.
  • I can guess a lot of fans of the show that want Victor gone were chanting at Justine to kill him. However, the moment that she replies: “he’s a man” when Dorian tells Lily that there’s no reason to kill him is the moment that the whole movement is derailed. Justine is a loose cannon that no longer wants revenge on the men that hurt her or her friends. She wants all men dead. That establishes a sharp frame for Dorian Gray to rethink his commitment to Lily’s enterprise. Dorian and Lily and Justine form a circle bound to be broken. One of them is dying before this season is over. Or perhaps two.
  • Victor is now indebted to Dorian. Who’s going to use who in this scenario? I would guess Dorian since he has centuries of experience to draw upon, but I shudder to think what will happen if Justine finds the secret passage that leads to Gray’s portrait…
  • The creature has a scene. It might seem cold to say it, but really unnecessary in such an episode heavy with other major developments. Not that I want an episode centered on Caliban. Actually his previous incarnation seemed more interesting that his current state.
  • Hecate is gone and all I can think of is that it only took a bullet while the previous season she was untouchable. Nightcomer, interrupted. I think there was more to the character than this too short of an appearance.
  • I will be really disappointed if Inspector Bartholomew Rusk is actually dead. Again, a lot more to do with this character than just take him out.
  • On the other hand, thank heavens for Sir Malcolm Murray taking out Jared Talbot. I will admit that it makes no sense in my head why does Sir Murray sides immediately with Ethan after the Deadly Dinner (brought to you by the same caterers that brought you the Red Wedding, I think) ends in a lot of dead bodies.
  • Also, Kaetenay is back because nobody believed he was dead. Why is he automatically on Ethan’s side? Yes, we know that they might have a love-hate thing, but we all witnessed Ethan going Omen-style-Damien with the curse-filled grace before the meal, didn’t we? I expected some reluctance from Sir Malcolm and Kaetenay in aiding Ethan. I expected downright hatred from Ethan at Kaetenay’s comeback. Then again, perhaps Ethan asked Talbot’s men to leave Kaetenay in the desert because he knew he was too tough to die?
  • Bless Dr. Seward. Vanessa: “He’ll think me mad.” Dr. Seward: “I’ll give you a note.”
  • Are Dracula and Dr. Sweet a bit like a Jekyll-and-Hyde opposite sides of a coin? Are we talking separate personalities? Who is the actual act, Dr. Sweet with Miss Ives or Dracula with his followers?
  • The fencing scene was the first sign of delight in this episode that at first seemed to retread the same storylines from past weeks. A fresh new character in Catriona Hartdegen but also another name that I will have typos on. She’s right there with Daenerys Targaryen over on that other show. Oh well, at least I’ll never have to write Damien Darhk again. ARGH I JUST DID. CRAP.
  • We’re in episode six and it seems we just had the big showdown at the Talbot compound. Does that mean everyone is headed back to London for a showdown with Dracula?

That will do for now.

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